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Drug abuse violations include all violations of national, state and local ordinances relating to the unlawful possession, distribution, growing, manufacture, and creation of narcotic drugs.

Drug Abuse Violations 2010 - Type of Offense

Drug Abuse Violation Arrests as a Percent of Part II and Total Offense Arrests 2010


Drug abuse violation arrests have increased over time. In 1990, they represented 6.0 percent of all arrests and 7.7 percent of Part II offense arrests. In 2010 however, drug abuse violations comprised 12.2 percent of all arrests and 14.9 percent of all Part II offense arrests.

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Percent of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests by Type 2010


The type of drug abuse violation arrests has shifted over time in Pennsylvania. During 2010, 65.7 percent of arrests were for possession charges. However, in 1990, the majority of arrests were for manufacture/sale, 54.1 percent. The crossover year was 1995; it was the first time possession arrests outnumbered manufacture/sale.

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Drug Abuse Violations 2010 - Arrests

Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests 2010


During 2010, there were 56,755 arrests for drug abuse violations. This figure represents a 4.0 percent increase from 2009. Also, arrests grew 17.8 percent from 2000 and 104.4 percent from 1990. In looking at types of drug abuse violation offenses, both manufacturing/sale and possession saw an increase in 2010.

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Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests Per 100,000 Population 2010


During 2010, for every 100,000 Pennsylvanians, there were 446.8 arrests for drug abuse violations. The arrest rate for possession was 293.5 while the arrest rate for manufacturing/sale was 153.3. Patterns of change were similar to those for the number of arrests.

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Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests Per 100,000 Population for the United States and Northeast Region 2010


During 2010, Pennsylvania’s arrest rate for drug abuse violations was less than the nation’s and Northeast Region’s rates. Ohio and West Virginia were the only bordering states to have arrests rates lower than the rate for Pennsylvania. Maryland’s arrest rate was more than double that of Pennsylvania’s.

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Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests Per 100,000 Population for the United States and Northeast Region 1990 to 2010


The Northeast Regional rate along with the Commonwealth’s rate for drug abuse violations increased from 2009 to 2010. The national was the opposite and showed a decrease from 2009.

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Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests Per 100,000 County Population 2010


Arrest rates during 2010 for drug abuse violations ranged from a high of 1,319.5 per 100,000 population in Philadelphia County to a low of 66.7 in Union County. Five counties ranked above the statewide rate of 446.8: Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, and Philadelphia.

Urban counties tend to have higher drug abuse violation arrest rates than rural counties.

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Drug Abuse Violations 2010 - Arrests by Offense

Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests for Manufacturing/Sale Per 100,000 County Population 2010


During 2010, arrest rates for manufacturing/sale of drug offenses ranged from 10.1 in Snyder County to 570.1 in Philadelphia County. Seven counties registered arrest rates greater than the statewide rate of 153.3: Allegheny, Blair, Clarion, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, and Philadelphia.

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Number of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests for Possession Per 100,000 County Population 2010


Arrest rates for possession drug offenses ranged from a low of 24.8 in Wyoming County to a high of 749.4 per 100,000 population in Philadelphia County during 2010. Philadelphia County was the only county that reported a rate of more than 600 arrests per 100,000 population. In addition, Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Fulton, Lackawanna, Philadelphia, and York Counties reported arrest rates greater than the statewide rate of 293.5.

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Drug Abuse Violations 2010 - Demographic Characteristics

Percent of Offenders Arrested for Drub Abuse Violations by Gender 2010


During 2010, 83.6 percent of those arrested for drug abuse violations were male. Over time, the percent of females arrested for drug abuse violations has grown slightly. The percentage of females appears to have stabilized over the last few years.

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Percent of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests by Type and Gender 2010


Specifically looking at type of offense, males arrested for drug possession accounted for more than half of all drug abuse violation arrests. Female offenders arrested for manufacturing/ sale of drugs represented the smallest group.

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Percent of Offenders Arrested for Drug Abuse Violations by Race/Ethnicity 2010


In 2010, 56.6 percent of offenders arrested for drug abuse violations were white. These offenders have accounted for more than half of those arrested for drug abuse violations since 1994.

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Percent of Drug Abuse Violation Arrests by Type and Race/Ethnicity 2010


During 2010, 39.9 percent of the 56,755 individuals arrested for drug possession were white offenders. Slightly over one-fourth of all drug arrests were minorities arrested for drug possession. However, more minorities (17.6 percent) are arrested for drug manufacturing/sale than whites (16.7 percent).

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Drug Abuse Violations 2010 - Other

Number of Offenders Arrested for Drug Abuse Violations Per 100,000 Population by Type of Offense and Race/Ethnicity 2010


Examining arrests per 100,000 population by race/ethnicity illustrates a much greater arrest rate for minorities. During 2010, there were 944.0 minorities arrested for every 100,000 minorities compared to 318.4 whites arrested for every 100,000 whites.

While the gap between minorities and whites exists for both types of drug offenses, it is wider for drug possession than for manufacturing/sale.

Keywords: Drug Violations

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